Sunday, October 31, 2010

The Talking Clock

After a late night of partying, a guy invites his friends back to his new apartment.

While he is giving them a tour, one of his friends notices a huge gong and hammer near the wall.

"What's up with the gong?", he asks.

"Oh that's not a gong, it is a talking clock."

His friends voices skepticism, "Dude, that's not a talking clock, it's obviously a friggin' gong."

The guy replies, "No, I swear, you hit it with that hammer as hard as you can and it tells you the time. Go ahead, give it a try."

His friend shrugs his shoulders, grabs the hammer, rears back, and strikes it with a loud: "GOOOOOOOOOOONG!"

After a few seconds they hear a voice from the other side of the wall, "Hey asshole! IT'S THREE-THIRTY IN THE FUCKING MORNING!"

Pew Pew

Big fight for Iridium Plaza continues.

But I miss it all because bloody BT can't keep broadband up and running in Ilkley.

Burley Lions vs Whitehall Warriors

I'll put the photos up later, I'm having connection problems today.

Friday, October 29, 2010



AFK Cloakers

Damn, ain't that the truth. Last week our guys discovered a red AFK cloaker who had let his Tengu get too close to an asteroid and uncloaked him, they gleefully killed his ship and podded the pilot, but they keep on coming back.

The solution of course is to get in a fleet, our sneaky red cloakers were not about to take on our BS/BC unit last night as we jumped from sanctum to plex to belt, no, they're only on the hunt for solo miners / ratters.

Keep On Running

Santa Cruz Half Marathon -6702Image by RussellReno via Flickr
It's 7.30am, and I have just returned from a quick run, just 3 miles to start the day.  It was a bit weird running in the dark, I'd woken up from a nightmare and couldn't quite shake the feeling caused by the vestigial lingering traces of the dream that someone was behind me.

Apart from my overactive imagination though, the running is going very well, I don't seem to have lost much, if any, weight, but my body shape has changed a bit and on the whole I just feel much better for it.  Last week I managed to run 10 miles, it felt like a huge milestone, not to mention a huge distance, and now I have it in mind to manage a half marathon distance if I can.

When I took up running a few months ago, two miles was enough to leave me panting, sweat soaked and exhausted.  A three mile jog in the afternoon and I was struggling to finish the evening shift at work that followed, now though I can do my five mile circuit of Nesfield - Addingham - Ilkley first thing in the morning and be fine for the rest of the day.  In fact, an early run makes me feel better for most of the day, the early morning endorphin rush is almost as good as a double espresso.

I'm sure that I look quite mad when setting out in the dark, I have my fluorescent jacket, a headlamp and flashing red rear lamp, mad yes, but then I know how people drive along Nesfield Road and I have no wish to be mown down by some early morning commuter.

The picture to illustrate this article is a spectator at the Santa Cruz half marathon, well trust me on this people, you don't want to see a picture of me finishing a run.
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Thursday, October 28, 2010

Carebears Go To War

I'm flying as a tiny cog in the large machine that is the Northern Coalition, they seem to like fighting, a lot.

Iridium Plaza Attacked

My own results so far...responded to a wwwww
panic call, warped in to 20, landed right on an asteroid which uncloaked my poor ship, nobody else had arrived, the reds instapopped my frig and then podded me, woke up 37 jumps away.

Oh well, my war can only get better.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Tiken Jah Fakoly " Africain a Paris "

Sting's An Englishman in New York covered and reworked by the excellent Tiken Jah Fakoly.


The millpond at Leeds Industrial Museum, I wish I'd taken my camera with me rather than just the phone, there were some really great views to be taken and some neat looking industrial objects.

The Fate Of The Leeds Locomotive Industry

So there used to be 8 locomotive factories just in Leeds, I never knew.  The Leeds Industrial Museum also has the history of the textile industry of Leeds, where at one time the city produced more tailored clothing than anywhere else in the world.

Nightmare Dream Sequence

Something that goes on in my head, or an exhibit at Leeds Industrial Museum ?

Tuesday, October 26, 2010


emblemImage via Wikipedia
I don't get to go and see Leeds United much, and at the rather astronomical price of £29 a ticket I won't be going all that much this winter either.  Last night though a dead night at work combined with half term meant that we could take nephew Jo to his first ever LUFC home game.

Sister Liz had already ordered us (Meg, Brother Rob, Kevin and myself) that we were not to use the 'H' word when singing along ("stand up if you hate Man U") and to try and ensure that nothing terrible assaulted young Joseph's delicate ears.  With this in mind I bought seats in the Revie Stand and I can report that Jo has now heard a number of phrases and descriptions which I guarantee he will not have come across at the cathedral choir school he attends.

The match of course was crap, Kasper Schmeicel made a comedy goalkeeping error for the first goal, and thankfully the other three goals that went in against us happened at the other end in front of a few hundred delirious Welshmen who were tucked away in the corner stand. Nunez and Gradel looked good when they came on as substitutes, but otherwise Leeds look weak against a strong Cardiff side, with Chopra and the on loan Bellamy easily carving through the midfield and defence.

We had a good night despite the thrashing we suffered, and the rough humour in the kop is always great fun.  As two minutes of added time were announced at the end of 90 minutes play it was greeted with a chorus of whistles and boos and an aggrieved shout of "If I miss last orders at the chippy for two more minutes of this f***ing crap I won't be happy" made us all chuckle.
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Friday, October 22, 2010

For Sian

(Seen at The Chive)

NEW MEDICINE - Laid (Official Music Video)

Album Review : Sign of Angels - Issa 6*

Issa is a twenty something singer from Oslo, and despite this being her debut album she seems to have something of a working pedigree with over 400 live shows to her credit and appearances on a few other melodic rock albums.  I think she also appeared on Norway's X Factor.

Sign of Angels is a perfectly acceptable melodic rock album, Issa sings well and obviously has some talent, but I think her voice sounds better in the mid to high range and when she is fully projecting it, she sounds slightly flatter on the slow sections.

The songwritng on the album is a collaborative effort including such veteran rock talent as Hammerfall's Joachim Cans and Thomas Vikstrom of Candlemass, the music though is much more firmly rooted in melodic rock than those inputs would seem to suggest.

There is nothing bas about  Sign Of Angels, the band Issa has assembled all play well, she sings well and the songs are decently structured and well produced, but to be honest, nothing on the album really lights my fire.  Everything is good, and I wouldn't turn it off if it came on the radio, but nothing is fantastic either, I quite enjoyed pretty much every track on the album, but without ever going crazy for anything.  It does seem a little like rock by the numbers, everything you need for a great rock album is in place, but it does lack that spark of originality.

The 2nd Hole Looks A Bit Rough Etc.

The 2nd hole at Ilkley Golf Club yesterday, they've finally decided to make the holes comparable to my skill at golf.

This huge hole is going to be the foundation of the new footbridge from the 2nd tee across the River Wharfe onto the island which contains the 2nd green, the 3rd tee, fairway and green and the 4th tee.  There will be another new bridge leading from the 4th tee across to the 4th fairway at the other end of the island.

Head greenkeeper Duncan, the middle of the three men standing, tells me that the bridge will arrive in two sections which will be bolted together on site and then lifted by crane onto the footings.  The footings will take a week or so to prepare, the bridges will take less than a day to assemble and drop into position.

The lower photo is the current, and aging, footbridge at the 2nd which is now going to be replaced.

The Staff

 Two of them at least, Laura and Rachel caught unaware.
And you have to catch them unaware because if you let them pose they behave like this, the lovely Laura being rather less lovely.

Braised Pork Chop

This was for the Ladies Section Prize Dinner this week.  We trimmed the skin from the chops and roasted it to get it nice and crispy, the chops were braised in cider until the meat was almost falling, then I added brandy, apples and meat stock for the gravy.  The resulting sauce was sweet and very rich, but that goes well with with pork.

We were too busy to take pics of the starter, baked red pepper stuffed with mushroom risotto, or the dessert, chocolate brownie with caramel sauce and cherry ice cream.

The night went well, and the crew did a great job, thanks to Rob, Laura, Rachel and Fred on the kitchen side, and Julia, Simon and Meg on the bar.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

The 18th Looks A Bit Rough

Fear not, if you come to play at Ilkley Golf Club, the greens don't look like this right now, but they did a couple of weeks ago.  If you look carefully at the front of the green there is a series of pockmarked holes in a regular pattern, these are made by a hollow tine machine to improve the drainage and playability of the greens.  All 18 greens were hollow tined to keep them in good order, then dressed with sand.  They are now looking beautifully green and are ready for the members and visitors over the coming winter.

Star Player Seeks Transfer

Although he has been undoubtedly the most attacking and talented forward of his generation, beloved by legions of fans and feared for his quick thinking and fleet footed approach, Nick Rooney stunned Lib United this week by requesting a transfer to their hated rivals Tory City.

Wayne Clegg said in a carefully prepared statement "Although I have great respect for the no-hopers and shambling drunks that make up the majority of Lib United, their ambitions no longer match my own, and for me, its really all about winning elections."

A spokesman for Labour Town said "We did make approaches to Clegg's agent, but then he reminded us that we had already spent all the money."

The Lurker Hits 30*

Brother in Law mk.2 aka The Lurker at his 30th birthday bash last week.  He was presented with a cricket bat (as seen in above photo), there was then a short and embarassed silence before someone decided to speak up and say "Andy mate, you're holding the wrong end."

*Runs in career total.

Fred & Mike

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Music Makes Me Happy

I love it when you fire up the I-pod and the first song brings a huge grin to my face. This morning it was Davy Crocket by Thee Headcoats...

"Hey Davy Crocket,
What you got in your pocket,
You got a big Bowie knife,
To take her life."

Carrot Fit Jeans

I noticed this on a pair of jeans when I was out shopping yesterday, and I must say, what a splendid idea.  There are those of us who are possessed of a larger carrot and the idea of having a bit of extra space in the front of the jeans for the old carrot to nestle in is a great one.

More carrot comfort, I'm all for it.

Monday, October 18, 2010

You'll Never Walk Alone etc.....

(by BarryHeadWound at b3ta)

You Can Trust Wikipedia, Honest Guv

From Wikipedia "Farsley is just off the main road between Leeds and Bradford and just off the Leeds Outer Ring Road A6110 Leeds outer ring road and the birthplace of Ben Jackson who holds the current world record for the Smallest Penis.. New Pudsey railway station is between Farsley and Pudsey providing train services towards Leeds, Bradford, Manchester Victoria and Blackpool. This station was the subject of a Monty Python sketch about a Pink Blancmange."

(via Wikiseedier)

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Square Pegs In Round Holes

Some days, I would really like to be able to like and appreciate the things that other people do, really I would.  I would love to be at a disco listening to whatever passes for chart hits today and be able to think "Hey, not bad, I think I'll dance to this" instead of "This is shit, my TomTom makes better noises than this."

I'd like to be able to see the appeal of mass market Hollywood movies instead of obscure, low budget Korean language movies, it would make cinema visits so much more convenient.  Wouldn't it be nice if I could, even just for a few minutes, understand the quite incredible hold that people like Jordan and any number of X-Factor wannabes have on the broader public imagination which results in the avalanche of clone celebrity magazines that fill the supermarket shelves.

It might even be nice to be able to stand wearing a sweatshirt or pair of trousers emblazoned with Nike or Firetrap or Famous Stars And Stripes, because to be quite honest it would make shopping for clothes so much easier.  I went in half a dozen gents clothes shops last week and couldn't find a single t-shirt or pair of pants that I would consider wearing, and yet lots of other blokes were trying stuff on and making purchases and seemed quite happy with their choice of apparel.  Flash back a couple of years though, and my wife is astonished that only hours after buying a pair of DC trainers, she has caught me using a hot knife to remove the rubber logo from the heels of both shoes.  In my own mind there is nothing strange in this, I am now the owner of a perfectly decent, brand free, pair of pumps.

It might be quite nice if I could gain an appreciation for chick-lit or low brow crime fiction or generic thrillers instead of having a taste for weird comics and hard to read classics, you know, conversation with other people might be easier, might flow better, if I could like the things they like instead of habitually banging on about the last 1001 Must Read novel I've ploughed through or the blood drenched / weird / unhinged comic series I have become fixated with.

The truth is, I often feel like a square peg in round hole, and until the entire nation turns to a love of heavy metal, cricket, fine food, foreign language horror movies and a deeper understanding of the mind of Garth Ennis, then I'm always going to be the same. I have a feeling though, that being the awkward bugger I am, if everyone else did just that, I'd then be saying "Hey, did you see last night's episode of Glee ? It was quality."

Home Made Fireworks, Indoors, What Could Possibly Go Wrong ?

Saturday, October 16, 2010

How Tall Is Rory McIlroy ?

Really ? I thought he was 6 foot.

"How tall am I Madam, five foot eleven and nine inches."

Disaster At IRFC

As the ground swap scheme between Ilkley rugby and Ilkley cricket gets underway, a particularly hard night of partying by the ICC boys leaves the rugby clubhouse in a sorry state.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Why English Is Tough

Twenty-one reasons why English is hard to learn.

1. The bandage was wound around the wound.

2. The farm was used to produce produce.

3. The dump was so full it had to refuse more refuse.

4. We must polish the Polish furniture.

5. He could lead if he would get the lead out.

6. The soldier decided to desert his dessert in the desert.

7. Since there was no time like the present, he thought it was time to present the present.

8. A bass was painted on the head of the bass drum.

9. When shot at, the dove dove into the bushes.

10. I did not object to the object.

11. The insurance was invalid for the invalid.

12. There was a row among the oarsmen on how to row.

13. They were too close to the door to close it.

14. The buck does funny things when does are present.

15. A seamstress and a sewer fell down into a sewer line.

16. To help with planting, the farmer taught his sow to sow.

17. The wind was too strong to wind the sail.

18. After a number of injections my jaw got number.

19. Upon seeing the tear in the painting I shed a tear.

20. I had to subject the subject to a series of tests.

21. How can I intimate this to my most intimate friend?

The Photography Of Alexsey Marina

You can view more galleries of Aleksey's work here.

What Do They Put In McDonald's...

That ensures they never rot ?

Worrying, very worrying, a 6 month old burger should never look that edible.

My Kitchen Works Just Like This. Not.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Book Review : Swiftly - Adam Roberts 8*

Adam Roberts has written a number of sci-fi novels, amongst them Stone, the story of humanity's only remaining murderer living out his days in a seemingly unbreakable prison in the heart of a star.  In Swiftly though, Roberts steps back in time, to a hundred odd years after the voyages of Lemuel Gulliver.

Britain is in trouble, it has enslaved the Blefuscans and put them to work in factories producing fine materials and complex machinery, France has been more clever with its choice of slaves, and has managed to get the giant Brobdingnagians allied to their cause.  When war breaks out, the giants smash the British lines and sink the navy with their enormous clubs, and in quite deliberate echoes of War of the Worlds giants are seen striding through the streets of London with heavy artillery being the only weapon that can touch them.

Abraham Bates is a young man with convictions, he believes passionately that slavery is sin, and he carries his arguments to those engaged in it.  Eleanor is a clever but naive young woman whose mother seeks to keep the pair of them in a style to which they would like to become accustomed, and to this end engineers a marriage to an older man, an industrialist with a factory full of Blefuscans.  The Dean of York is obnoxious, ill mannered, paranoid and conceited, and he's addicted to heroin.  These three characters are thrown together by the misfortunes of war and begin a heady and complex love triangle.

Roberts has written parodies (of Tolkien, Star Wars and others) and he injects a rich vein of black humour into Swiftly, he also shows a deft hand with eroticism as the relationship between Abraham and Eleanor becomes sexually charged.  Roberts then blends Gulliver's Travels with H G Wells as he explores the possibility of creatures many times smaller than the Liliputians, and vastly larger than the Brobdingnagians, and as the tiny creatures, unseen to normal sized human eye, have cause and effect on the plague that now ravages Yorkshire (Mr. Roberts Sir ! You've destroyed Scarborough and York, you cad) so perhaps men can, unseen, find a way to attack the gargantuan menace of the moonship.

Swiftly is a sci-fi novel, it's also a love story, a tale of perverted desire and a look at slavery, imperialism, colonialism and other less appealing aspects of the British Empire.  It is exceedingly well written, descriptive enough to set each scene well and provide a comprehensive background, but it is far and away more exciting and pacey than the writer from which the ideas are borrowed and enlarged upon, Jonathan Swift never penned anything as engaging and fast moving as this.

Monday, October 11, 2010

How Alternate Voting Works

HOWDEN, UNITED KINGDOM - JULY 10: Election can...Image by Getty Images via @daylife
So, as I understand this, most of the Labour Party wanted David Miliband as their leader, but not enough of them to give him an outright victory, so the alternate voting system came into play.  The Labour party of course has managed to create a voting system even more archaic and byzantine than that employed by either the Conservative Party or the Democratic People's Republic of North Korea.

David Miliband was in the lead for whole of the contest as less popular candidates were eliminated and their second preference votes redistributed in a case of "I don't like Dianne Abbot, but I don't really mind Ed Miliband one way or the other." Eventually, with David Miliband as the out and out clear favourite, his boggly eyed brother Ed won.  No, I don't understand it either.

Applied to a General Election, the second preference voting system will work something like this...

"I want the Labour Party to win, but I hate the BNP so I'm putting them last, and the other parties are all in the middle somewhere."

As the votes are counted the less popular political parties get dropped one by one, out go the BNP, SNP, Plaid Cymru, Lib-Dems, and then to every ones vast surprise, and because nobody actually hates them, the Monster Raving Loony Party wins the 2014 General Election and Alan “Howlin Laud” Hope becomes the next Prime Minister of the UK.  Or, to really put the fear into you, look at the little picture above, the bloke on the right is the MRLP leader, the bloke on the left is ex footballer and full time nutter David Icke, he thinks the Royal Family are actually disguised space lizards from Betelgeuse, and he's allowed to run for election as well.
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The Staring Morning Bleakness

My attempt at the lyric game was rather doom laden and disturbing.

I Kiss The Joker Myself...

Classic Rock magazine gave away a pack of fridge magnet lyrics with this month's issue, this was Paula's attempt at a classic rock lyric.

The Wisdom Of David Lee Roth

"Money can't buy you happiness, but it can buy you a helicopter, and you can land next to some perhaps"

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Darthstep Dubstep

Be Specific

It's amazing just how specific you have to be with people in order to get them to do things correctly...

YS - "...and then put the tray of pies in the oven for 15 minutes"

15 minutes later...

YS - "Obviously Fred, I should have said, and then put the pies in a lit oven for 15 minutes."

Hannah In A Bag

I realise that this picture appears to demonstrate that there is a aspect of Guantanamo Bay about my kitchen.  But, I can assure you, I did not stuff Hannah into the laundry bag, she climbed in herself.

As to why Hannah is 'hiding' in the corner, it's because I got the camera out. Good hiding skills there Hannah, we really can't see you.

Saturday, October 09, 2010

Winters Past

A light snow and a hard frost, on the 9th hole at IGC in February 2009.

More Muir

A rather nice photo blog from a professional photographer, a nice selection of subjects including Nick Cave, Seasick Steve, Sebastian Horseley's funeral, sheep, and a circumcision party in the Maldives...

Muir Vidler's photoblog is at More Muir, and his portfolio site can be found at Muir

Thursday, October 07, 2010


I have a sore arm today, I went to see the travel nurse earlier to get my tetanus, diphtheria and rabies shots up to date. Well, you can't be too careful when visiting Lancashire.

The nurse lined up the syringes and said "It'll just be a series of small pricks, like a night out in a Bolton gay bar."

I Love Ewe

Book Review : Crossed - Garth Ennis & Jacen Burrows 8*

I am sure that if you invited Garth Ennis over for tea, he wouldn't rape your Gran and bugger your cat before stuffing your nephew in the blender, I'm sure he wouldn't. But, these thoughts are running through his head.

Crossed is probably the nastiest thing that Ennis has ever written, and that's saying something for the warped, nay sometimes deranged, mind that came up with Preacher, The Boys, Dicks and The Pro (the world's first prostitute super heroine). Crossed fits somewhere in the zombie apocalypse genre, although its hideous and evil hordes are most defiantly not dead.

So what do we have, a fairly typical zombie style world as we know it ends scenario, with visceral gore and arterial amounts of blood.  With Ennis' twisted mind and darker than dark sense of humour though, this isn't just a Dawn of the Dead blood fest, the enemy here are evil, cruel, malicious and determined, they are not at all the slow, dim-witted inhabitants of Robert Kirkman's The Walking Dead.

The plot follows the (mis)fortunes of a small group of survivors, and plots their own moral corruption in the face of the endless horror that surrounds them.  Stan and Cindy witness the first few terrible moments of the 'crossing', Stan and a few customers from the diner he was eating at run panic stricken through streets filled with crazed rapists, killers and cannibals until the cool and determined Cindy arrives on the scene in the nick of time to save them from the Crossed.

The story is told partly in flashback as various of the survivors tell their own personal tales of horror, each even more blood soaked and disturbing than the last, as the party struggle to survive, too scared to enter towns full of the Crossed they travel cross country in an attempt to reach Alaska, where they hope that less former inhabitants will equal less current Crossed.

Ennis leaves the cause of the plague / infection / disease an enigma, only discussed by survivors with no real knowledge beyond their own experiences.  The effects of the crossing though are depicted in constant carnage and the next amputation or evisceration is never more than a page turn away. Crossed contains the entire 10 issue run of the comic (Ennis says he has no more Crossed stories in him) and is illustrated by Jacen Burrows who is known for his work on Transmetropolitan and Chronicles of Wormwood.

There will be a sequel to Crossed called Family Values, written by David Lapham ( Stray Bullets, Young Liars), Family Values will feature an entirely new cast, and so your nightmares will no longer feature a huge bald man who shouts "Horsecock!". No, it will probably be something worse.